What is the Catholic Church?
“Henceforward the Church, equipped with the gifts of its founder and faithfully observing his precepts of charity, humility and self-denial, receives the mission of proclaiming and establishing among all peoples the kingdom of Christ and of God, and is, on earth, the seed and the beginning of the kingdom (Para 5).”
“The apostolate of the laity is a sharing in the Church’s saving mission. Through Baptism and Confirmation the Lord himself appoints all to this apostolate. Moreover, by the sacraments, and especially by the sacred Eucharist, that love of God and humanity which is the soul of the entire apostolate is communicated and nourished. The laity, however, are given this special vocation: to make the church present and fruitful in those places and circumstances where it is only through them that it can become the salt of the earth. Thus, all lay people, through the gifts which they have received, are at once the witnesses and the living instruments of the mission of the church itself ‘according to the measure of Christ’s gift (Eph 4:7).’” (Para 33)
On November 21, 1964
Catholic bishops from all over the world ratified, “The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church.” This was one of the first documents approved at the Second Vatican Council. This document returned to the early Christian understanding of the Body of Christ and proclaimed that the Church is the People of God.